African and african american books for young adults

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Walter Dean Myers

Glory Field; Monster; Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary; Now is Your Time: The African American Struggle for Freedom; One More River to Cross: An African American Photograph Album; Fallen Angels; Shadow of the Red Moon; Slam; Scorpions; Bad Boy: A Memoir; The Beast; The Dream Bearer; Won’t Know ‘Til I Get There; Amistad: A Long Road to Freedom; Somewhere in the Darkness; At Her Majesty’s Request: An African Princess in Victorian England; It Ain’t All for Nothin; 145th Street Short Stories, The Story of the Three Kingdoms and much more

Sharon Draper

Forged by Fire; Tears of a Tiger; Darkness before Dawn; Double Dutch; Jazzimagination; The Battle of Jericho; Copper Sun; Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs (series) and more

Sharon Flake

The Skin I’m In; Money Hungry; Begging for Change; Bang!; Who Am I Without Him?: Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in their Lives; and more

Mildred Taylor

Friendship; The Land; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; The Well: David’s Story; The Gold Cadillac; The Road to Memphis; Mississippi Bridge; Song of the Trees; Let the Circle Be Unbroken

Nikki Grimes

Bronx Masquerade; Jazmin's Notebook; Dark Sons; From a Child’s Heart; The Road to Paris

Nikki Giovanni

Ego-Tripping and Other Poems for Young People

Brenda Woods

Emako Blue, The Red Rose Box

Virginia Hamilton

Cousins; Time Pieces; The Planet of Junior Brown; Zeely; M. C. Higgins; The House of Dries Drear; Arilla Sun Down; The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales; Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom; Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales and True Tales; The Winnie Witch’s Skinny: An Original African American Scare Tale

Velma Maia Thomas

Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation; No Man Can Hinder Me: The Journey from Slavery to Emancipation through Song; Freedom’s Children; We Shall Not Be Moved;

Dr. Cynthia Jacobs Carter

Africana Woman: Her Story Through Time

Tom Feelings

The Middle Passage: White Ships, Black Cargo; Soul Looks Back in Wonder and many others

Julius Lester

To Be a Slave; The Long Journey Home: Stories from Black History: and many more


Wade Hudson

Powerful Words: More than 200 years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans; Kids’ Book of Wisdom: Quotes from the African-American Tradition; Five Bold Freedom Fighters; Five Brave Explorers; Five Notable Inventors; Pass It On: African-American Poetry for Children; In Praise of Our Fathers and Our Mothers: A Black Family Treasury by Outstanding Authors

Russell L. Adams

Great Negroes Past and Present

Marian Wright Edelman

I Can Make a Difference: A Treasury to Inspire our Children

Toni Trent Parker

Sienna’s Scrapbook: Our African American Heritage Trip

Patricia C. and Frederick L. McKissack

Book of Great Black Heroes: Great Women in the Struggle; Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States; Rebels Against Slavery: American Slave Revolts; Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?; Black Hands, White Sails: The Story of African-American Whalers; Black Diamond: The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues; A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, A Slave Girl; Nzingha: Warrior Queen of Matamba and many more

Toni Morrison

Remember Me: The Journey to School Integration

Jim Haskins

Separate But Not Equal: The Dream and the Struggle; Black Stars: African American Inventors; African American Entrepreneurs; Rosa Parks: My Story; Black Eagles: African Americans in Aviation; Black Dance in America: A History Through Its People; One More River to Cross: The Stories of Twelve Black Americans; The Day Martin Luther King Was Shot; Scott Joplin: The Man Who Made Ragtime; The Day Fort Sumter Was Fired On and many more

Tonya Bolden

Portraits of African-American Heroes: Cause:  Reconstruction America 1863 – 1877; Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl; And Not Afraid to Dare: The Stories of Ten African-American Women; The Book of African-American Women: 150 Crusaders, Creators and Uplifters; and many others

Langston Hughes – Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

The Dream Keeper and Other Poems;

Anthony Davis and

Jeffrey Jackson

“Yo, Little Brother…” Basic Rules of Survival for Young African American Males

Diane Johnson

Proud Sisters: The Wisdom and Wit of African-American Women

Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Mary Lyons

Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs

Harriet Jacobs

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl


Janet Cheatham Bell

Famous Black Quotations

Sara De Capua

J. C. Watts Jr. Character Counts

Lucy Ann Hurston

Speak. So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston

Dennis Brindell Fradin and Judith Bloom Fradin

Ida B. Wells: Mother of the Civil Rights Movement

Maya Angelou

And Still I Rise; I Shall Not Be Moved

Mike Venezia

Jacob Lawrence

Susan Kantor

One Hundred and One African-American Read-Aloud Stories

Haki R. Madhubuti

Don’t Cry, SCEAM

Peter and Connie Roop

Sojourner Truth

Septima Clark

Ready from Within: Septima Clark & the Civil Rights Movement

Richard Newman

African American Quotations

Jeffrey Stewart

1001 Things Everyone Should Know about African American History

John Blake

Children of the Movement

Andrea Davis Pinkney

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Chrisanne Beckner

100 African-Americans Who Shaped American History

Gaylia Taylor

George Crum and the Saratoga Chip

Dr. Ben Carson

Think Big: Unleashing Your Potential for Excellence; Gifted Hands; The Big Picture

William J. Federer

George Washington Carver: His Life & Faith in His Own Words

Eloise Greenfield

How They Got Over: African Americans and the Call of the Sea

Diane Patrick

Amazing African American History: A Book of Answers for Kids

Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins and Rameck Hunt

We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success

Ellen Levine

Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories

Leonidas A. Johnson

Go Down Moses!: Daily Devotions Inspired by Old Negro Spirituals

Sheila Moses

The Legend of Buddy Bush; The Return of Buddy Bush; I, Dred Scott;

Horace Randall Williams

No Man’s Yoke on My Shoulders

Jacqueline Woodson

If You Come Softly; Miracle’s Boys; Hush

Dr. Mae Jemison

Find Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life


Anthony Browder

Survival Strategies for Africans in America: 13 Steps to Freedom

Sharon Dennis Wyeth

The World of Daughter McGuire

Joyce Hansen

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy a Freed Slave Girl

Jack Canfield

Chicken Soup for the African American Soul

Casey King and Linda Barrett Osborne

Oh, Freedom! Kids Talk about the Civil Rights Movement with the People Who Made It Happen

Rosa Parks

Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation; Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today’s Youth

Terrie Williams

Stay Strong: Simple Life Lessons for Teens (with an introduction by Queen Latifah)

Stedman Graham

Teens Can Make It Happen

Diane McWhorter

A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968

Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

Maxine D. Jones & Kevin M. McCarthy

African Americans in Florida


Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The New York Public Library African American Desk Reference

Jessie Carney Smith

Black Firsts: 2,000 Years of Extraordinary Achievement

Amy Alexander

Fifty Black Women Who Changed America


Margy Burns Knight

Africa Is Not a Country

Dr. Arthur Lewin

Africa Is Not a Country: It’s a Continent!

Beverly Naidoo

Journey to Jo’burg: A South African Story; The Other Side of Truth; Chain of Fire; No Turning Back; Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope and others

Mary Quigley

Ancient West African Kingdoms: Ghana, Mali, and Songhai

Silviane Anna Diouf

Kings and Queens of Central Africa; Kings and Queens of West Africa; Kings and Queens of Southern Africa; Kings and Queens of East Africa and others

Hugh Vernon-Jackson

African Folk Tales


Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku

East African Folktales for all Ages from the Voice of Mukamba

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Wonders of the African World

J. A. Rogers

Africa’s Gift to America

A. Olusegun Fayeni

Voices from Within: Photographs of African Children

Nelson Mandela

Favorite African Folktales

Julia Stewart

African Proverbs and Wisdom: A Collection for Every Day of the Year from More than Forty African Nations

Joyce Hansen

The African Princess: The Amazing Lives of Africa’s Royal Women

Mary Williams

Brothers of Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan

Basil Davidson

African Kingdoms


The Africans


Frances Temple

A Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti

Curriculum Materials

SETCLAE – Self Esteem Through Culture Leads to Academic Excellence – An Africentric Multicultural Curriculum

By Jawanza Kunjufu and Folami Prescott – African American Images Publications, Chicago, IL
Writing Books

Winners: A Culturally-Based Values Clarification-Oriented Creative Writing Primary Prevention Workbook for the Black Child

Volumes I, II and III - $30 each volume

Darnell Bell, 1576 E. King Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90011

For more information about this list, please contact:

Rosemary Traoré

Assistant Professor, Urban Education

UNC at Charlotte

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